Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Couponing 101

For the last few weeks I am sure you have been inundated with the amount of facebook postings that have been occuring as I link up. I won't apologize. I am super excited about saving money, and I hope I am encouraging you to do the same.

I used to think that coupons were hard to keep track of, too time consuming, and I wasn’t saving enough for the trouble. Am I wasting my time cutting them on Sundays, and printing, and looking for that special item in the store?

Product manufacturers spend billions of dollars every year to supply us all with coupons and more than half the time they don’t get used. I will tell you straight up that three weeks ago I started to do couponing again, and I found a stack of expired coupons in the desk drawer that I had left that expired in December! {Horrified I was for giving up all that money!}(BTW... if you don't use your coupons, I would be happy to send a SASE to you so you could mail them back to me in return.)

I guess I have been lucky that I haven't had a cashier give me a hard time. I've read many things scenarios where customers hand over 25-50-100 coupons and the cashiers sigh, and others tap their feet all in a hurry. I have to wonder if they, too, know that time is money.

The boys have their video games. Couponing is becoming mine. All the while I save money for our family.
You start off slow and as you do it more, you become knowledgeable of all of the In’s and Outs and before you know it YOU ARE SAVING MONEY LIKE CRAZY!


The best places to get coupons are of course the Sunday paper, but there are many websites and magazines that provide excellent coupons.

SUNDAY PAPER: Last week was the first of our Sunday paper being resumed. NO COUPONS were in the paper though, and I knew that was going to happen. However, I am totally stoked about all the coupons that will be in the May 1st paper. You can find a list of what to expect here at the sunday coupon preview. I also learned yesterday that my Dollar Tree has papers for... YES, a DOLLAR. I will be there on Sunday bright and early.
PRINTABLE COUPONS: You can always check out on the Coupons.com and see if there are any coupons that appeal to you. Print what you want, but in most cases there a limits set as 2 per printer and there are national limits so I will print these (the ones that I know I will use) and save them until a sale comes up. Check out the Coupon Network which has catalina offers that I have talked about before. You can go to Redplum and Smart SourceThekrazycouponlady has provided a list of printable coupons. You may have to sign up for the product info or register for the product site, but totally worth it for saving money. It is always an option to use your computer savvy talents and search for printable coupons.

MAGAZINES: I pick up the ALL YOU magazine which features coupons on almost every page, but also gives a lot of recipes and advice like most womens magazines. You can subscribe to it and save around $.50 per issue. Woman's Day also has coupons. (I'm sure there are more)
OTHER PLACES TO FIND COUPONS: When you are walking around the store, keep on the look out for peelies (coupons that are peelable off a product), blinkies (coupons that are in blinking machines near a product) and hangtags (coupons either hanging on or around a product). Another of my favorite places to get coupons for items I could possibly need is Couponsthingsbydede.  For a small fee you can get the coupons you need, when you need them. It can be a lot less expensive to do it this way than to buy additional papers, and they are already clipped! (So there really is no reason you should NOT be couponing) ;o)


First and foremost…you CAN NOT be brand loyal and save a lot of money. You have to be flexible. When going though coupons and deciding which ones to clip and keep, think to yourself…If I might use the item in the coupon and I can get it for really cheap, or better... FREE, then I clip and keep it. It’s that simple…I DON’T have to buy it, but if a sale comes up and I want to try it out and I can get it cheap to free, why not keep the coupon.


It really depends on your personal organization habits. I started with a three small $1 photo albums from Walmart. They have the see through pages, and I could easily turn to whatever I needed by being able to view the coupons. In two weeks I had graduated to a notebook that has baseball trading card dividers and I keep separate coupons in each trading card slot. I haven't got dividers in them, YET. But I am working on it.
Another method is keeping the coupon inserts in a notebook and marking them with insert name and date. This is another method I know some use so when you see a posting on my blog or afullcups blog or thekrazycouponlady's blog, you know exactly where to get them. For example 4/17 SS would be April 17 Smart Source insert. You would pull it and find the coupon, instead of cutting them all out at once.


A store coupon is a coupon that can only be used at that particular store. For instance, if it has the target logo on it, it might say at the top Target Coupon, same with Walgreens in ad coupons. The nice thing about these coupons, is that you can stack them with a manufacturer coupon. A manufacturer coupon will state that on the coupon and can be redeemed at any store that accepts coupons.

Now that you have your coupons, then it is time to match them with sale ads. The absolute best scenario is SALE+STORE COUPON+MANUFACTURER COUPON. That is when you save the most.

So you have got your coupon stockpile going.  Now it is time to work on your product stockpile. When items are on sale, and you can get them for dirt cheap or our favorite word... FREE, then you should stock up. Any paper products you use, personal hygiene products (Walgreens is really good about having razors on sale), cereal... etc... You know what you need better than I. Right now I've been on a yogurt kick because I've been getting it so cheap!

Keep your eye out for the sales, the same stuff seems to go on sale every 3-4 months. So if you miss a sale, don’t worry, chances are it will come back around.

Please remember to be considerate when shopping. When I shop at Walgreens for instance, I will shop either early in the morning or later in the night.  Also, be organized with your coupons, have them ready to go at check out. Usually when I am shopping, I pick out the item and put it in my cart, I will double check the coupon make sure I am getting the right thing and quantity and check the expiration date. If it is all good, I throw it in the bottom of may cart. When I go to check out, I unload all my items and all the coupons I will be using are right there and ready to go.

One more important thing. The overseas military bases can use expired coupons up to 6 months AFTER they have expired. I will be sending a package once a month to Japan. If you would like to include your expired coupons or any you would not use, please send them to me. OR if you would rather, find a base that you can send them to. They appreciate it, and it's just another way to show your support for the people who are keeping you free.
If you have ANY questions, please drop me a note here or send me an email.

I can't wait to hear how things are going for you, so leave a little note if you don't mind just so I know who I am writing to. (HI mom!! You are always so good about leaving a note! Thank you for believing in me!!)

be blessed


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